Penn State Fails to Keep Up With West Virginia In Loss
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Under the lights in the best weather so far this season, Penn State fell 8-4 to West Virginia Tuesday night.
Aidan Major was credited with the win for West Virginia and Tommy Molsky received the loss for the Nittany Lions.
The Mountaineers got going early with a first inning two out rally. Then, Victor Scott II ripped a triple down the right field line and McGwire Holbrook followed it up with an RBI single.
Holbrook reached second via a miscued pickoff attempt and stolen base, but didn’t come around to score.
Penn State threatened in the bottom of the third inning after Billy Gerlott was hit by a slider off his helmet. The Nittany Lions followed his trip down to first with back-to-back singles that loaded the bases with two outs.
However, Penn State’s leadoff hitter Jay Harry grounded one back to pitcher’s mound and the side was retired.
West Virginia proceeded to build out its lead with a massive third inning in which the Mounraineers piled on six runs. They never looked back, despite Penn State getting a pair of two run shots courtesy of Cole Bartels and Josh Spiegel.
Scott II finished the night with three hits and just a homerun short of the cycle for West Virginia.
Despite the loss, Penn State’s head coach Rob Cooper was happy with his team’s effort against the tough West Virginia squad.
“The truth of the matter is that they dug deep, they showed they have pride in themselves and each other and playing for Penn State,” Cooper said, “I told [the team] that if we just do that, I can handle losing if we go about it that way.”
Cooper talked about a lot of strong individual performances on the night, such as pitcher Carson Kohls’ three and two-thirds scoreless innings of work and Bartels’ multi-hit night.
However, the Nittany Lions struggled in the field especially when West Virginia had base runners.
Penn State committed two errors and allowed West Virginia to swipe four bags.
“We (have) got to work on that because Purdue’s really good at stealing bases as well,” Cooper said.
Cooper also talked about how pitchers need to vary tempo so opposing runners cannot time their windup to steal. The Mountaineers were able to get great jumps and sometimes steal bases without a throw.
Cooper said that having their first practice in around a week will be a good time to work on this with the pitchers before Purdue comes to town for a three game series starting Thursday.
The Boilermakers are an impressive 21-7 on the season and recently won a wild game against Indiana, 16-15 in the second game of a double-header.
Penn State will need to be playing well on all cylinders if it hopes to have a chance in the series.
Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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